Open Enrollment 50-State Report - All Data Points


Open Enrollment 50-State Report - All Data Points

Last updated: October 2018

Open enrollment policies allow a student to transfer to a public school of his or her choice. There are two basic types of open enrollment policies.

  • Intradistrict: Students transfer to another school within their resident school district.
  • Interdistrict: Students transfer a school outside of their resident district.

Depending on the state, open-enrollment policies are mandatory, voluntary, or both. 

  • Mandatory policies require districts to participate in the program.
  • Voluntary policies allow districts to choose whether to participate in open enrollment, often allowing districts the discretion to enter into transfer agreements with other districts.
  • States with both mandatory and voluntary policies usually require mandatory open enrollment in low-performing schools or districts, in defined regions of the state or in other specific circumstances while allowing voluntary open enrollment in the rest of the state.

View the full open enrollment database here.  Please contact Micah Ann Wixom (303.299.3673 or mwixom@ecs.org) with questions or comments.


Does the state have open enrollment programs? Do desegregation provisions impact open enrollment programs? Does the state set priorities for districts to follow when accepting students for open enrollment? Who is responsible for student transportation?
Alabama No. However, there are open enrollment provisions specific to charter schools. No open enrollment policies. No open enrollment policies. No open enrollment policies.
Alaska Yes, mandatory intradistrict for students attending a school designated as persistently dangerous. Not addressed.
Not addressed. Not addressed.
Arizona Yes, mandatory intradistrict and interdistrict. School districts must establish open enrollment policies, including admission criteria, application procedures, and transportation provisions. School districts may enter into voluntary agreements with other school districts for tuition payments for certain students. No No. However, districts may give preference to children of school or school district employees or to students in foster care.  Each district's open enrollment policies must include transportation provisions. A receiving district may provide transportation for income-eligible students living in an adjacent school district, up to 20 miles each way to and from the school or a point on a regular transportation route. A receiving district must provide transportation, up to 20 miles each way, for students with a disability or an individualized education plan.  
Arkansas Yes, mandatory interdistrict, with some limitations; mandatory interdistrict for students attending a school districts classified as being in facilities distress. 

Students may apply to transfer to a school in any school district. Each school year sending school districts are subject to a limit on the number of school choice transfers they may allow. The limit is 3% of the previous school year's enrollment, minus any school choice transfers into the district. A 2018 bill passed by the Arkansas legislature allows school districts to exceed this limit for sibling groups. Students transferred out of a district in facilities distress and foster students are not included in the cap. Students denied a transfer may request a hearing with the state board. Districts must adopt standards for accepting or rejecting applications, which may include lack of capacity of a program, class, grade level or building. Students may only have one open-enrollment transfer per school year but may return to their resident school district or enroll in private or home school during the school year. 

Students attending a school district classified as in need of Level 5 - Intensive Support may transfer to another school district without a Level 5 - Intensive Support classification.
Desegregation court orders or court-approved plans have precedence over the open enrollment statutes. School districts claiming a conflict under an order or plan must provide proof of a genuine conflict. Yes. School districts must give priority to siblings if space is available. During the first year a school district is not subject to transfer limits, sending districts must give first priority to students unable to transfer due to transfer limits in prior years.  Parents are responsible for transportation. Receiving districts may enter into an agreement with the student, student's parent, or the sending district to provide transportation. When a student transfers from a school district under facilities distress, the sending district must pay for transportation.
California

Yes, voluntary intradistrict and interdistrict; mandatory intradistrict and interdistrict under the Open Enrollment Act for students attending low-performing schools and/or districts.

Voluntary: School district governing boards may decide to accept interdistrict transfers. Participating districts must register as a school district of choice, determine the number of students the district will accept, and accept transfers until the district is at maximum capacity. School districts must allow students from active-duty military families to transfer to another district if the receiving school district approves the transfer application. In addition, school districts may enter into interdistrict transfer agreements with other school districts for up to 5 years. Sending districts may limit transfers in the following circumstances:

  • Districts with more than 50,000 students may limit transfer to 1% of the current year estimated average daily attendance.
  • Districts with 50,000 students or less may limit transfers to 3% or 10% of current year estimated average daily attendance.
  • Districts with a negative status on their budget certification may limit the number of transfers.
  • If the district would not meet fiscal stability standards due to student transfers.

Mandatory: The State Superintendent of Public Instruction must create an annual list of 1,000 low-performing schools, and no more than 10% of a district's schools may be on the list. Parents of students in one of these schools may apply to transfer to higher performing school in the district or in another district. A receiving district may adopt standards for acceptance and rejection of applications, which may include program, class, grade level, building capacity, or adverse financial impact.

Under both voluntary and mandatory provisions, sending or receiving districts may prohibit a transfer if it would negatively impact a court-ordered or voluntary desegregation plan or the racial and ethnic balance of the district, not including transfers for children of active-duty military personnel. Yes.

Voluntary: Receiving districts must give priority in the following order, but may not displace students residing in the district.
  • Siblings of students already attending the district.
  • Students eligible for free or reduced-price meals.
  • Children of military personnel.
A district may determine the number of transfers it is willing to accept and hold an enrollment lottery if the number of applications exceeds space. Receiving districts may not reject a transfer if the cost of educating the student exceeds state aid. Any receiving district may admit a student expelled from a sending district.

Mandatory: Receiving districts must give priority in the following order.
  • Siblings of students already attending the school.
  • Students transferring from a low-performing school with certain criteria.
Districts also give priority to students residing in the district. If the number of applicants exceeds space available, the school must conduct a lottery from the two priority groups until available spaces are filled.
Upon the request of the parent, receiving districts may provide transportation assistance to the extent that the district otherwise provides transportation assistance to other students.
Colorado Yes, mandatory intradistrict and interdistrict.

The receiving district may deny enrollment for the following reasons: lack of space or teaching staff; program requested is not offered; lacks capacity to meet special needs; student does not meet eligibility criteria for participating in a particular program; denial necessary to maintain desegregation plan compliance; student has been expelled for specific reasons.
Schools and school districts may deny enrollment under open enrollment policies to maintain compliance with a desegregation plan. No. However, school districts must consider adopting a policy that gives priority to students who have low academic performance and are transferring from a low-performing school. Not addressed.

State policies outline a transportation token program, which provides transportation to another school for students enrolled in or living in the attendance zone of a designated low-performing school and for students (grades 1-8) eligible for free and reduced lunch and enrolled in a low-performing school. Transportation tokens may be used for public transportation or other forms of approved transportation. It is not clear if this program is currently in effect.
Connecticut Yes, voluntary intradistrict and voluntary and mandatory interdistrict. Interdistrict programs are required in four cities and optional in priority school districts. School districts may cooperate with other school districts to correct racial imbalances. Additionally, the purpose of the state's mandatory interdistrict open enrollment policy is to reduce racial, ethnic and economic isolation or preserve racial and ethnic balance. Yes, for mandatory interdistrict. In districts with limited space, districts first give preference to siblings and to students who would otherwise attend a low-performing school or a school that has lost its accreditation and then use a lottery designed to preserve or increase racial, ethnic and economic diversity. Voluntary: Local boards of education may, but are not required to, provide transportation.

Mandatory: The department of education sets reasonable transportation limits and provides grants to regional educational service centers or boards of education for reasonable transportation costs, within certain limits. Regional educational service centers must provide reasonable transportation services for high school students who wish to participate in extracurricular activities.
Delaware Yes, mandatory intradistrict and interdistrict. School districts may deny student enrollment for "lack of capacity," defined as projected enrollment school enrollment at 85% of capacity. Open enrollment must not conflict with a court-ordered desegregation plan. If it would, districts must establish a number of majority and minority group students who may transfer into or out of the district. Yes. Receiving districts must give priority to the following in order:
  • Returning students.
  • Students living in a school's designated feeder zone.
  • Siblings of currently enrolled students, with preference for siblings who live in the district.
After giving priority to the first three student groups, districts may give priority to student groups in the following order:
  • Students who have designated the school or program as a first, second, or third choice.
  • Students who live within the district.
  • Children of school employees.
After the district has admitted all qualifying students based on these criteria the district must use a lottery and a ranked waiting list. Receiving districts may also deny enrollment for students expelled from the home district for 15 or more days.
Parents are responsible for transportation.
District of Columbia Yes, voluntary intradistrict. Students may apply for a transfer under circumstances, based on enrollment priorities. Transfers are approved by the Chancellor. Not addressed.
Yes. Preference is given to students based on the following:
  • The student's sibling attends the school.
  • The student resides within a reasonable walking distance.
  • The requested school is preferred to the designated school.
The district must use a lottery to determine enrollment.
Not addressed.
Florida Yes, mandatory intradistrict and interdistrict. School districts and charter schools must enroll any student subject to capacity, and must identify school capacity determinations on their websites. Participating districts must adhere to federal desegregation requirements and must maintain socioeconomic, demographic, and racial balance. Yes. School districts must give preferential treatment to the following groups: 
  • Dependent children of active duty military personnel whose move resulted from military orders. 
  • Children relocated due to a foster care placement in a different school zone. 
  • Children who move because of a court-ordered custody change. 
  • Students residing in the school district.
In addition, each school district must do the following: 
  • Allow parents to declare school preferences, especially for placing siblings in the same school.
  • Provide a lottery for school placement, including an appeals process for hardship cases.
  • Maintain socioeconomic, demographic and racial balance.
  • Provide parents of students in multiple session schools priority access.
  • Address the availability of transportation.
  • Allow transfer students to be immediately eligible to participate in extracurricular activities. However, students may not participate in a sport if the student participated in the same sport at another school during the school year, unless the student meets certain criteria.
  • Identify schools in the district that have not reached capacity. 
Districts and charter schools may not displace students living in the school district with non-resident students.
Parents are responsible for transportation. School districts and charter schools may, but are not required to, provide transportation. 
Georgia Yes, mandatory intradistrict if space is available; voluntary interdistrict if the sending district does not have space or if the student lives closer to a school in the receiving district. Additionally, school districts may enter into a transfer contract with another district.
    Intradistrict: Districts must allow intradistrict transfers when all of the following conditions are met and if space is available:
    • Classroom space is not available in the assigned school and is available at the requested school after all resident students are enrolled.
    • The parent submits a written request.
    • The local school board approves.
    Interdistrict: Districts may allow transfers under the following circumstances:
    • Transportation time to the student's assigned school is 45 minutes longer than the receiving school and the distance to the student's assigned school is at least 15 miles further than the receiving school. 
    • Classroom space is available in the requested school.
    • The parent submits a written request.
    • Both school boards approve.
    Open enrollment programs must not interfere with any desegregation plans that are or may be in effect. No. However, districts must admit non-resident children of district employees. Parents are responsible for transportation, although school districts may contract with each other for transportation.
    Hawaii Yes, voluntary intradistrict (interdistrict is unavailable because Hawaii only has one school district). Open enrollment is allowed when mandated by the Department of Education or federal law. Other transfer requests are granted at the discretion of the Department of Education. Transferring students must provide a certificate of release from the sending school. Not addressed. Not addressed. Not addressed.
    Idaho Yes, mandatory intradistrict and interdistrict, with some limitations. School boards may create written agreements for transferring students between districts. Students must apply annually to attend or continue attending the receiving school.

    A receiving school district is not required to admit a transfer student if the transfer would be a hardship for the receiving district, as defined by district policy. Local school boards must adopt policies defining specific standards for accepting or rejecting transfer students from other districts. Standards may include the capacity of a program, class, grade level or school building to accept transfer students but may not include previous academic achievement, athletic ability, proficiency in English language, or disabling conditions.
    Not addressed. No. However, suspended or expelled students are not eligible for open enrollment transfers. Parents are responsible to transport students to and from the school or an appropriate bus stop within the receiving district.
    Illinois Yes, mandatory intradistrict but only at the request of a parent and in certain circumstances. School districts must have a policy governing transfers of students to another school within the district at the request of the student's parent or guardian. However, there are statutory limits on which schools a student may transfer to, including schools where the transfer to exceed capacity, schools with academic criteria (unless the students meet the criteria) or transfers that would interfere with existing law, consent decrees or court orders. In addition, each school district must have a policy governing the transfer to students from a persistently dangerous school.  Not addressed. Not addressed. Not addressed.
    Indiana Yes, voluntary interdistrict; mandatory intradistrict and interdistrict within Indianapolis city schools.

    Voluntary: Parents may request, in writing, to transfer the student to another school district in the state if the student can be better accommodated because of crowded conditions, curriculum offerings, for medical reasons, or if the student's school is not fully accredited. Districts may have a policy for accepting or rejecting open enrollment students, and receiving districts may accept transfer students without the approval of the sending district. A receiving districts may require transfer students to pay tuition as a condition of the transfer.

    School districts may accept transfer students from outside of the district to attend alternative education programs.

    Districts without a policy for accepting or rejecting transfer applications are required to establish and publish the number of transfer students it will accept. However, districts without an interdistrict open enrollment policy must accept transferring students if the students meet certain criteria.

    Mandatory: Indianapolis city schools must allow intradistrict transfers. The school board must establish priorities for student assignment. Student assignments are made if space is available.
    Not addressed. Yes, but only for districts that have not established open enrollment transfer policies. Districts without transfer policies must hold a lottery and must give priority to siblings of currently enrolled students and children of district employees. Additionally, they must accept students when all of the following criteria are met:
    • The student attended a private school in the district's attendance area for at least the two preceding school years.
    • The student is transferring because the student's resident district does not offer grades 9-12.
    • The majority of students in the same grade of the transferring student are residents of the school district.
    • The district has capacity to accept students.
    All districts are required to accept children of current employees if space is available, and districts must hold a lottery if transfer requests for children of employees exceed capacity. 

    Districts may deny admission to a student who has been suspended or expelled during the preceding 12 months for ten or more days or if the student was suspended or expelled for causing physical injury to another person at the school, violating the school's drug or alcohol rules or for possessing a firearm on school grounds.
    Parents are required to provide transportation in specific situations. Otherwise, not addressed. 
    Iowa Yes, mandatory interdistrict with some limitations. Parents may request open enrollment to another district and may request a preferred school within that district, but the receiving district has authority to determine what school the child will attend.

    Districts may opt out because of space availability and districts must have a policy defining "insufficient classroom space." Districts that cannot grant open enrollment requests must create a waiting list. District policies for accepting or denying transfers may include multiple components, such as the availability of instructional staff, student-teacher ratios, finances, and board-adopted district goals and objectives.
    Sending districts that are subject to voluntary or court-ordered desegregation plans may deny transfer requests if the transfers would affect plan implementation. Districts must give priority to transfer requests that would facilitate implementation of a voluntary or court-ordered desegregation plan. School boards may adopt and implement a voluntary diversity plan that affects open enrollment transfers, although the following student groups are granted an exception to the diversity plan: 
    • Siblings of currently enrolled students.
    • Students who have moved out of the resident district but wish to remain in the district as an open enrollment student.
    • Students transferring due to harassment.
    • Students transferring for health reasons that cannot be adequately addressed by the resident district.
    Yes. Receiving districts may not deny enrollment to must give priority to requests that would facilitate a court-ordered desegregation plan or voluntary diversity plan. A student who has been suspended or expelled may not transfer to another district until the student is reinstated by the resident district. Parents are responsible to transport students to a designated bus stop in the receiving district. School districts with open enrollment agreements may make transportation arrangements. Open enrollment students meeting certain income guidelines must receive transportation assistance from the sending district. The district may reimburse parents or provide transportation to a bus stop, but only for students enrolled in a receiving school district adjacent to the sending district.
    Kansas Yes, voluntary interdistrict. Boards of education may create agreements to allow transfers between districts. Not addressed. Not addressed. Agreements between sending and receiving school districts must have a provision for transportation and for payment or sharing of transportation costs.
    Kentucky Yes, mandatory intradistrict, voluntary interdistrict.

    Intradistrict: Parents must be allowed to send students to the public school nearest their home within their school district attendance area.

    Interdistrict: School districts may enter into a written agreement with other districts to allow students to attend school in a nonresident district.
    Not addressed.
    Not addressed. Not addressed.
    Louisiana Yes, voluntary interdistrict; mandatory intradistrict and interdistrict in some circumstances; mandatory intradistrict and interdistrict for low-performing schools and schools in the Recovery School District.

    Voluntary: School boards may enter into an agreement to allow students to transfer to a school in a neighboring parish.

    Mandatory:
    • Students assigned to a public school with a low performance rating may enroll in another school if the receiving school has a higher performance rating. 
    • When the transportation time to a student's assigned school is longer than a prescribed amount, the student must be allowed to attend a closer school in another district.
    • Students attending schools identified as persistently dangerous must be allowed to transfer to another school in the district.
    • Any school transferred in or out of the Recovery School District must maintain open enrollment policies.
    Mandatory, low-performing schools: Students may not enroll in a receiving school if it would violate a court order. School districts designated as academically unacceptable and under a desegregation plan are "not exempt from offering students the option to transfer" but must first review the plan and possibly seek court approval for transfers. Not addressed. When students are transferring out of a low-performing school, districts are not required to provide transportation if it would result in additional costs to the district. When a student transfers to a school closer to the student's residence than the student's assigned school, the receiving district is responsible for transportation. 
    Maine Yes, voluntary intradistrict and interdistrict. Students may attend another school with permission from the receiving school, and school districts may adopt mutual policies allowing students to transfer between the districts. Students living far from their assigned school may attend school in an adjoining district with permission from both districts. Students in districts without an elementary school or in districts with 10 or fewer students may attend school in another district. Not addressed. Not addressed. When a sending district has a contract with another district because the sending district does not have a school, the sending district is responsible for transportation costs. When school districts have policies allowing transfers between school districts, the policies must address transportation issues. In other cases, the parents are responsible for transportation costs. 
    Maryland No No open enrollment policies. No open enrollment policies. No open enrollment policies.
    Massachusetts Yes, voluntary interdistrict and intradistrict. School committees may establish terms with other school committees to accept nonresident students from the public schools of the other town. The receiving school committee of any city, town, or regional district may accept transfer students from a sending district with student racial imbalance if the receiving school district's committee has voted to accept out-of-district students.  No. However, if the number of nonresident students applying for acceptance to another district exceeds the number of available seats, the school committee must hold a lottery. Parents are responsible for transportation. The state will pay when the transfer addresses racial imbalances. Students who receive free or reduced price lunch may qualify for reimbursement from the state which may go to the students' guardian or sending school district, depending upon transportation arrangements and proximity to the school or district.
    Michigan Yes, mandatory intradistrict for low-performing schools; voluntary intradistrict and interdistrict at the intermediate district level. 

    Mandatory: Students attending a school that has been unaccredited for three consecutive years must be allowed to attend another school within the school district.

    Voluntary: Intermediate districts may allow students to attend other school districts within the intermediate district or may accept transfer students residing in a contiguous intermediate district. Receiving school districts may make determinations about the grades, schools and special programs for which open enrollment is available. The receiving school district may limit the number of nonresident students it accepts in a grade, school or program.
    If the school district is subject to a court-ordered desegregation plan, the district may prohibit students from transferring in or out. Yes. Under voluntary intradistrict and interdistrict open enrollment, receiving districts must give priority to siblings of enrolled students. If the number of transfer requests exceeds capacity, the receiving district must hold a lottery and create a waiting list. A district may refuse students who have been suspended from another school within the past two years or expelled at any time. Parents are responsible for transportation.
    Minnesota Yes, mandatory interdistrict.

    Receiving school districts may limit enrollment of nonresident students and must adopt standards for accepting or rejecting applications.
    Receiving districts with achievement and integration plans may accept transfer applications at any time, although the districts are still allowed to limit enrollment. Districts must give priority to applications related to an approved integration and achievement plan. Yes. If a district has more transfer requests than space available, the district must hold a lottery and the following student groups must receive priority:
    • Siblings of currently enrolled students.
    • Applications related to an approved integration and achievement plan.
    • Children of school district staff.
    • Students living in municipalities meeting specific criteria.
    Districts may refuse enrollment for students who have been expelled for specific reasons.
    The receiving, or nonresident, school district must provide transportation within the district when requested by the parent, but is not responsible for transportation to and from the district's border. Receiving districts may reimburse income-eligible students for the cost of transport to the district border. Receiving districts may apply to the commissioner of education to reimburse the cost of transporting open enrollment students contributing to desegregation or integration plans.
    Mississippi Yes, voluntary interdistrict if both districts consent; mandatory interdistrict for students residing more than 30 miles away from their assigned school. The school boards of sending and receiving districts must enter into an agreement. Not addressed No. However, school districts must enroll any nonresident children of any instructional or licensed school district employee upon the employee's request. Transfer agreements between school districts must include a provision providing for transportation. In the absence of a provision, parents are responsible for transportation.
    Missouri Yes, voluntary interdistrict; mandatory interdistrict for unaccredited schools or districts.

    Voluntary: School boards may enter into transfer agreements. If a student's location of residence creates an unsual or unreasonable transportation hardship due to natural barriers, travel time, or distance, the commissioner of education may allow the student to attend another district. Receiving districts may set enrollment capacity limits by grade level, school building, and education program. They may also deny a transfer application if the student lives more than 10 miles from the receiving district or if the location of the student's assigned school is closer than the school the student would be attending in the receiving district.

    The Metropolitan Schools Achieving Value in Transfer Corporation is a voluntary school transfer program in for school districts in St. Louis that allows students to transfer to other schools in participating districts. The program is headed by a board of directors.

    Mandatory: Students assigned to an unaccredited school must be allowed to attend an accredited school in another district in the same or an adjoining county.
    Whenever a school district is under a federal court-ordered desegregation directive, open enrollment options are subject to the approval of the court of continuing jurisdiction, and the court order must govern. Yes. Receiving districts may give preference to resident students over transferring students and refuse enrollment to students suspended or expelled for 10 days or more in the current or immediately preceding school term.

    Metropolitan Schools Achieving Value in Transfer Corporation (voluntary open enrollment in St. Louis): The board of directors sets policies but receiving districts must give first preference to students attending based on a desegregation order.
    Mandatory: The sending district is responsible for providing transportation for students attending another school because their assigned school is unaccredited.

    Metropolitan Schools Achieving Value in Transfer Corporation (St. Louis): The board of directors is responsible for making provisions for transportation and receives transportation aid from the state up to 155% of the statewide per-pupil average.
    Montana Yes, voluntary intradistrict and interdistrict; mandatory interdistrict for geographic access or other issues.

    Voluntary: Sending and receiving districts enter into an attendance agreement that sets forth financial obligations, if any, for tuition and for costs incurred for transportation. Receiving districts may reject an out-of-district attendance agreement if the school's accreditation would be adversely affected by the transfer because of insufficient room, although this does not apply to students with disabilities who live in the district.

    Mandatory: Interdistrict open enrollment is mandatory when one of the following applies:
    • The child resides closer to the receiving school and more than three miles from his or her resident school and the resident district does not provide transportation.
    • It is impractical for the student to attend the resident school because of geographic conditions, including a bus ride of more than one hour (for elementary students), traveling certain distances to attend school, or geographic barriers that prohibit travel.
    • The student's sibling attends high school in another district and student may more conveniently attend an elementary school where the high school is located, under circumstances.
    • The child is under the protective care of a state agency, or has been adjudicated to be a youth in need of intervention or a delinquent youth.
    • The child is required to attend school outside of the district of residence as the result of a placement in foster care or a group home.
    Not addressed No, although a child with a disability who resides in the district must be approved. For both voluntary and mandatory interdistrict open enrollment, the attendance agreement between the sending and receiving districts outlines the financial obligations for transportation costs.
    Nebraska Yes, mandatory intradistrict, with some limitations; mandatory interdistrict. 

    Districts are required to adopt standards for acceptance and rejection of open enrollment option applications. Standards may include the capacity of a program, class, grade level, or school building or the availability of appropriate special education programs. 

    Open enrollment transfers are available among districts in a learning community (a partnership between multiple districts). Member districts must annually establish and report a maximum capacity for each building, and provide a copy of the standards for acceptance or rejection plus transportation policies to the learning community council.

    Denial of a student's open enrollment application may be appealed to the state board of education.
    In a learning community, diversity plans must provide for open enrollment between all buildings and diversity is based upon students' socioeconomic status. Yes. For districts not part of a learning community (a partnership between multiple districts), first priority is given to siblings of enrolled students.

    For districts that are members of a learning community, first priority is given to siblings of enrolled students. Second priority is given to students previously enrolled in the districts, and third priority is given to students living within the learning community who contribute to socioeconomic diversity at school building. Final priority is given to students who reside in the learning community. 

    A student may transfer once prior to graduation unless:
    • The student moves to another school district.
    • The receiving district merges with another district.
    • The receiving district only has elementary grades.
    • The student has completed all the grades offered in the receiving school and is transitioning to another school level (i.e. elementary to middle school, middle school to high school).
    • The transfer would allow the student to continue current enrollment in the receiving district.
    • The transfer would allow the student to enroll in a district where he or she was previously enrolled as a resident student.
    • The student resides in a school district that is part of a learning community and attend school in another district within the learning community as a open enrollment student. 
    Parents are responsible for transportation. However, the receiving school district may provide transportation on the same basis as provided for resident students and may charge a fee sufficient to recover the additional costs. Districts must adopt standards for providing transportation for open enrollment students. 

    Students eligible for free lunch are eligible for free transportation or transportation reimbursement from the receiving district, as outlined in each district's transportation policies.

    Learning community districts must provide free transportation for open enrollment students who live more than one mile from the receiving school and are (1) eligible for free or reduced price lunch, or (2) transferring as part of a diversity focus program who contribute to the socioeconomic diversity.

    Students receiving free transportation for the 2016-17 school year must continue to receive free transportation for the duration of the student's status as an open enrollment student or enrollment in a diversity focus program unless the student relocates to another district under specific circumstances.

    For students with disabilities, transportation services are provided by the sending school district, which is reimbursed by the state.
    Nevada Yes, voluntary interdistrict in limited circumstances. Receiving school districts may admit students living in an adjoining school district. In addition, a student who resides on an Indian reservation located in two or more counties must be allowed to attend the school nearest to his or her residence, regardless of the student's resident school district.

    State law also provides a program of school choice for children in foster care.
    Not addressed Not addressed Transportation costs must be paid by the sending district.
    New Hampshire Yes, voluntary interdistrict and intradistrict. 

    Any school district governing body may designate one or more of its schools as an open enrollment school. School districts must create limits on the number of its resident students that may attend open-enrollment schools inside and outside of the district. Schools may set enrollment limits, including limiting enrollment in specific programs and may select students on basis of aptitude, academic achievement or need. 
    Not addressed Yes. Students who meet the admissions requirements of a receiving school and who are residents of the district where the school is located, are given admission preference over nonresident students. If applications exceed capacity, the school or district must use a lottery system. Open enrollment schools are not required to enroll an expelled student. For intradistrict transfers, the district is responsible for providing transportation. For interdistrict transfers, parents are responsible for transportation.
    New Jersey Yes, voluntary interdistrict.

    Under the state's interdistrict public school choice program, school districts may apply to the Commissioner of Education to participate as a choice districts. Applications are evaluated by various criteria, such as the fiscal impact on the school district and the impact on student diversity in the district, among others. Receiving districts admit students if space is available. A sending district may restrict the number of students who transfer to another district to a maximum of 10% of students per grade level per year and 15% of total enrolled students per year.

    To participate, students must have attended school in the sending district for at least one full year immediately preceding enrollment in the receiving district. However, this requirement is not applicable to prekindergarten or kindergarten students and may be waived if a receiving district does not fill all available transfer spaces.
    Districts applying to become a choice district must submit an analysis of the potential impact of the choice program on student diversity and a plan for maintaining diversity, but these plans may not supersede a court-ordered desegregation plan. To maintain student population diversity, the commissioner may restrict the number of choice students from a sending district, restrict a receiving district's ability to accept choice students, or revoke approval of the choice district. Yes. Receiving districts and sending districts may give preference to siblings of enrolled students. If a receiving district receives more applications for a school than space available, a lottery must be used. Sending districts that limit choice enrollment and with transfer requests above the percentage limit may hold a lottery to select participating students. Districts may give preference to siblings already participating before holding the lottery and may develop a waiting list based on the lottery. Sending districts are responsible for the transportation (including transportation aid) of elementary students living more than two miles and to secondary students living more than 2.5 miles from their respective receiving schools. Transportation will not be provided for students living more than 20 miles from the receiving school. The sending district will receive state aid for transportation costs.
    New Mexico Yes, voluntary intradistrict and interdistrict; mandatory intradistrict and interdistrict for students in low-performing schools. Boards of receiving school districts may admit non-resident students if space is available. Students attending a low-performing school must be allowed to transfer to another school in the state. Not addressed. Yes. Receiving districts must give priority in the following order:
    1. Students residing in the school district or school attendance area or children of active-duty military personnel who lived in the area prior to deployment.
    2. Students enrolled in a low-performing school.
    3. Students who previously attended the school.
    Receiving districts may establish additional enrollment preference, such as after-school care for students, children of school employees, siblings already attending the school, and so on. If applications exceed space available, the receiving district must create a ranked waiting list based on priority enrollment. Receiving districts may deny enrollment to students previously expelled from any school in the state during the previous 12 months.
    Districts are responsible for transportation when a student transfers to another school within the same district, although the local board may reimburse parents for travel costs. Sending districts are not responsible for students who transfer to another school district. Receiving districts may make policies about transporting out-of-district students at no additional cost to the school transportation fund, including boarding the bus at the last stop on an approved route if space is available.
    New York Yes, through the voluntary interdistrict "urban-suburban transfer program" which was designed to reduce racial isolation by allowing minority students to transfer in and out of participating urban and suburban school districts. Participating districts must provide policies about student participation for transferring students. Private school students must have an opportunity to participate in the program. Districts seeking to participate in the voluntary interdistrict urban-suburban transfer program must submit data that the program will reduce racial isolation by allowing minority students, nonminority students, or both to transfer between the suburban and urban districts. Not addressed. Not addressed.
    North Carolina No No open enrollment policies. No open enrollment policies. No open enrollment policies.
    North Dakota Yes, voluntary interdistrict.

    School boards may decide to participate in open enrollment. Parents must apply to the school board of the receiving school district. The board of each participating district must set standards for accepting or rejecting applications, which may address program, class, grade level, or building capacity. Standards may not address academic achievement, participation in extracurricular activities, English language proficiency, disabilities, or previous disciplinary actions.

    Parents may apply for an interdistrict transfer at any time for the following reasons: 
    • The student was a victim of documented violence within the school.
    • The school in which the student is enrolled was declared unsafe.
    • The student's enrolled school has been identified as requiring program improvement for six consecutive years.
    Not addressed.
    No, although the board of each school district sets standards for accepting or rejecting applications. Sending and receiving districts may provide transportation.
    Ohio Yes, voluntary interdistrict; mandatory intradistrict and interdistrict for students attending an alternative school.

    Voluntary: The boards of all school districts must pass policies denying or allowing enrollment by students from adjacent school districts or any school district. Participating receiving districts must have policies and procedures for admitting students, including district capacity limits by grade level, school building, and education program.

    Mandatory: The boards of all school districts must have interdistrict and intradistrict open enrollment programs allowing students to enroll in an alternative school in the same district or another school district. The board of education for each school district must have open enrollment policies for students enrolling in an alternative school, including application procedures and district capacity limits by grade level, school building, and education program.
     
    Under both voluntary and mandatory open enrollment, districts' open enrollment plans must have policies and procedures to ensure racial balance is maintained.

    Voluntary: To maintain an appropriate racial balance, a sending district may object to a student enrolling in another district.
    Yes.

    Voluntary: Resident students of the receiving district and previously-enrolled students must have preference over first-time applicants. Receiving districts may deny enrollment to students who have been suspended or expelled by the sending district for 10 consecutive days or more in the current or proceeding term.

    Mandatory: Receiving districts must give enrollment preference to students attending or living in the attendance area of certain schools in the district. Receiving districts may deny enrollment to students who have been suspended or expelled by the sending district for 10 consecutive days or more in the current or proceeding term.
    Parents are responsible for transportation, although receiving districts may provide transportation to and from a bus stop along a regular bus route within the district. Receiving districts may reimburse low-income families for the cost of transporting a student to and from the bus stop. In addition, school boards may be required to provide transportation in accordance with a court-approved desegregation plan.
    Oklahoma Yes, voluntary interdistrict; mandatory interdistrict for children of active-duty military personnel who meet specific criteria.

    Students may transfer to other districts with the approval of the receiving district's board of education, and boards must automatically approve transfers for students seeking to enroll in a grade not offered by the sending district. Participating school districts must create policies for accepting or rejecting transfer applications, including criteria about the availability of programs, staff, or space. School districts must have policies for transfers of students that are children of active-duty military. 
    Not addressed.
    No. However, children of district teaching personnel who are not residents of the school district are allowed to transfer upon approval of the receiving school district. Siblings of transfer students may transfer to the receiving district with approval from that district's board of education. Upon the request of a parent, receiving districts may provide transportation only within the receiving district's boundaries. However, two school districts may make an agreement allowing the receiving district to transport students inside the boundaries of the sending district.
    Oregon Yes, voluntary interdistrict. Districts may enter into agreements with each other for open enrollment transfers. Not addressed. Yes. Receiving districts make decisions about enrolling non-resident students. If applications exceed any attendance limits determined by the school board, the districts must hold a lottery and may give priority to the following:
    • Siblings of currently-enrolled students.
    • Students who attended a charter school in the same district for at least three consecutive years or completed the highest grade offered by the school.
    • Students who moved out of the school district during the previous school year but received permission to continue attending a school in the receiving district.
    Not addressed.
    Pennsylvania Yes, voluntary interdistrict. Not addressed.
    Not addressed. Not addressed.
    Rhode Island Yes, voluntary interdistrict and intradistrict. School committees may arrange student transfers with the school committees in an adjoining community. Not addressed.
    Not addressed. The state provides for transportation for students who attend a school located outside the city or town where they reside but only within defined tranportation regions.
    South Carolina Yes, voluntary interdistrict. When students live closer to a school in an adjacent district or county, school officials from the sending and receiving districts may make arrangements for the students to transfer to the closer school. If a school district refuses to accept a reasonable transfer, the county board of education in which the districts are located have the right to hold a hearing and approve the transfer, on certain conditions.  Not addressed.
    Not addressed. Not addressed.
    South Dakota Yes, mandatory intradistrict and interdistrict. Local school boards must create standards for accepting and rejecting applications, which may only address the capacity of a program, class, grade level or school building. Local school boards accept applications and must grant transfer requests unless the transfer would violate the receiving district's standards or unless the receiving district cannot meet the student's special education services. Intradistrict transfer applications may be accepted and acted upon by local school boards at any time.
     
    Not addressed.
    Yes. Applications are reviewed in the order they are received, but applications for siblings of currently enrolled students have priority. Parents are responsible for transportation, and sending or receiving districts are not required to provide transportation. However, the receiving district may enter into an agreement to provide transportation within the boundaries of a sending district at an approved pick-up location. Receiving districts may charge a reasonable fee.
    Tennessee Yes, voluntary intradistrict and interdistrict.

    Interdistrict: Transfers are at the discretion of the receiving board of education. Local boards of education may enter into agreements to transfer students between the districts and receiving school districts may set transfer deadlines.
    Student transfers must be exercised within the limitations of any existing court order or plan developed to comply with the state or federal constitution. No. However, school districts must enroll the children of teachers who do not live in the district. Parents may be required to provide transportation.
    Texas Yes, voluntary intradistrict and interdistrict. Students attending low-performing schools are eligible for intradistrict or interdistrict transfers under the public education grant program. There are also transfer provisions for bullying or other safety issues.

    Intradistrict: Parents may petition in writing to have a student transferred to another school designated by the parent or school board and may request a hearing. School boards must grant the transfer request unless the board determines there is a reasonable basis for denying the request. Decisions are made on an individual basis. If a school district assigns a student to another school to receive special education services, the student's siblings may be allowed to attend that school.

    Interdistrict: Students are allowed to transfer out a resident district if the receiving district and parents agree. School districts may also enter into transfer agreements. Districts that do not offer certain grade levels may contract with other school districts to transfer students. Children of employees of a Texas Juvenile Justice Department facility may attend an adjacent school district. 

    Public education grant program: Students assigned to a low-performing school may transfer to another school or school district, but only at the receiving district's discretion. 
    Not addressed.
    Yes, but only for students transferring out of low-performing schools under the public education grant program. Districts with more applications than space available must give priority to students at risk of dropping out of school and hold a lottery, although school districts may give first priority to previously enrolled students and their siblings over at-risk students. For students transferring out of a low-performing school under the public education grant program, sending districts will provide transportation costs to and from the students' assigned schools.
    Utah Yes, mandatory interdistrict and intradistrict.

    School boards of receiving districts adopt policies governing acceptance and rejection of transfer applications and designate which schools and programs are available for open enrollment during the following school year. Schools are open for enrollment of nonresident students if the school's enrollment level is at or below the open enrollment threshold, although school boards may allow nonresident students in schools operating above the threshold. Standards for accepting or rejecting may include:
    • Lack of capacity in a grade level (for elementary schools) or other special program.
    • Maintaining reduced class sizes.
    • Maintaining a heterogeneous student population.
    • Priority may be given to intradistrict transfers over interdistrict transfers. 
    • Siblings attending school in the receiving district. 
    There are also transfer provisions related to safety issues.
    Local school boards' standards for accepting or rejecting transfer applications may include maintaining heterogeneous student populations to avoid violation of constitutional or statutory rights of students. No. However, school boards of receiving districts may give priority to intradistrict transfers over interdistrict transfers and may establish priorities through the standards for accepting or rejecting transfer applications. When reviewing applications, local school boards must consider if an applicant has siblings attending the school or another school in the district. In addition, districts may reject students who have committed serious infractions of the law or school rules or have been guilty of chronic misbehavior. For intradistrict and interdistrict transfers, the receiving district must provide transportation on an approved route within the district if space is available. Otherwise, parents are responsible for transportation. However, sending districts may transport students to school in the receiving districts and the State Board of Education may create policies about transporting nonresident students to the receiving school if transportation would relieve overcrowding or address other serious problems in the sending districts.
    Vermont Yes, mandatory interdistrict and intradistrict for high school students. 

    Students may apply to attend any high school, but may enroll in the school only if the student, the sending school, and the receiving school agree. Local boards of education may set guidelines that include limits based on the financial impact and the capacity of the program, class, and building. Sending schools may limit the number of students transferring out of the school. 
    Not addressed.
    Yes. School boards of sending districts must give preference to the transfer request of a student whose transfer request was denied in a prior year. If more than the allowable number of students wish to transfer to a school, the board of the receiving high school district must hold a lottery to determine which students may transfer.  Not addressed.
    Virginia Yes, voluntary intradistrict. Local school boards may establish open enrollment policies allowing students to attend another school within the district.  Any local board under a court-order to maintain racial balance must maintain that balance when accommodating preference in student assignment. No. However, school districts' admission priorities may include preferences for siblings of currently enrolled students, students living in a location that have had a school attendance change in the previous two years, or children of school employees. Schools may also include provisions for a lottery if transfer requests exceed capacity and may prohibit transfers for students who have had certain disciplinary actions. Districts may require that parents provide transportation.
    Washington Yes, mandatory intradistrict and voluntary interdistrict.

    Intradistrict: School districts must have a policy allowing intradistrict transfer options. 

    Interdistrict: Districts are "strongly encouraged" to allow parents to transfer students to another district when requested. Districts must consider all applications equally and create standards for acceptance or rejection. A sending district must allow an interdistrict transfer if the receiving district agrees and under certain circumstances, such as accessibility to a parent's workplace or child care location, a hardship, or to enroll in an online course or school. Receiving districts may deny a transfer if it would create a financial hardship for the district. 
    A sending district may deny an interdistrict transfer request if the transfer would adversely affect the sending district's existing desegregation plan. No. However, districts must accept children of full-time teaching staff and may refuse to enroll a student who has been expelled or suspended for more than ten consecutive days or has a history of violent or disruptive behavior. Not addressed.
    West Virginia Yes, voluntary intradistrict and interdistrict.

    Upon written request of a parent, county boards may transfer students from one school to another with the county. Transfers from one county to another county must be approved by both county boards. Parents may appeal if a sending or receiving county school district refuses a transfer. During the appeals process the state superintendent must consider the following factors:
    • Travel time of student
    • Impact of transfers on on levies or bonds.
    • Financial impact on the county of residence.
    County boards may allow high school students to transfer if geography is a factor and there is a high school is closer to the student in another county. County boards of education "are encouraged" to enter into intercounty transfer arrangements to reduce the need for school facilities and reduce transportation times for students.
    Not addressed.
    No. However, school districts must consider interdistrict transfer applications from parents due to student travel time or school location. Sending and receiving county boards must determine the method of transportation. Sending county boards are responsible for transportation if the county board has initiatied the transfer plan.
    Wisconsin Yes, voluntary intradistrict and mandatory interdistrict. All school districts must adopt policies for accepting and rejecting interdistrict transfers and determine the number of spaces available. Criteria may include availability of space in schools, programs, classes, or grades. Districts may also consider class size limits, student-teacher ratios, and enrollment projects. Sending districts may limit the number or percentage of resident students transferring to other school districts. A district must reject any application for transfer into or out of the district if the transfer would increase racial imbalance in the district. Student transfers resulting from a plan implemented by a district to reduce racial imbalance are eligible for state aid. However, in 2007, the Wisconsin attorney general issued an opinion in which he concluded that the provision is unconstitutional per the United States Supreme Court case, Parents Involved in Community Schools, et al. v. Seattle School District. Yes. If there are more applications than spaces available, a receiving district must create a waiting list and accept students from this list on a random basis after giving preference to currently-enrolled students and their siblings. School districts may give preference to residents of the school district who live outside the school's attendance area. If the receiving district is a union high school district, preference must be given to students who are attending the receiving district's underlying elementary school district. Parent are responsible for transportation, but receiving districts must provide transportation for students with a disability. Low-income parents may apply to state for reimbursement. Districts may enter into agreements to provide transportation for out-of-district students. If either the sending or receiving district operates a program of intradistrict transfers, that district is responsible for the cost of transportation. A district may contract directly for transportation or reimburse another district for the cost. A district may provide transportation for a student attending a public school outside his or her attendance area of residence.
    Wyoming Yes, voluntary interdistrict and intradistrict. Any district within the state may admit pupils who are residents of other districts if space is available. Not addressed.
    No. However, districts do not have to accept students who have been expelled or suspended. Not addressed.

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